The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands

by 3 Generations
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The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands
The Environmental Crisis on Native American Lands

3 Generations works to bring attention to the injustices that Native Americans face in their ongoing struggle to determine the fate of their land, culture and values. This is a struggle that they have endured since the first European settlers came to North America over 500 years ago.

We recently shared information through social media and a blog post about the uncovering of unmarked graves of Native American children at former US and Canadian boarding schools. The forced assimilation of tens of thousands of children to these boarding schools in an attempt to kill Native American culture and their tribal system was a way for governments to try to remove them from their lands without actually having to fight them. 

The schools forbade the children from using their own languages and names, as well as from practicing their religion and culture. The children were taught that they must abandon their way of life because it was inferior to white people’s. In the schools they faced neglect, abuse and were susceptible to a wide range of illnesses. Many children died. The schools left a legacy of devastation and trauma but they failed to eradicate Native American cultures.

You can read our blog post on the topic Native Children Finally Coming Home here. We also have a number of social media posts about the memorials and marches in honor of the children who were lost to these schools and the push to bring their bodies home to their families and tribes. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram to view them and to keep updated on further news.

To learn more about this and our other issues please visit our website 3generations.org.

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3 Generations has been documenting stories of injustices to Native American communities, lands, and culture for more than 10 years. We work to bring attention to the degradation of Native American lands and the vulnerability of native peoples. We will continue to create films and videos that show the impact and devastation that the federal government and extractive industries cause to Native American communities.

The current administration in this country is working towards improving the relationship with Native American communities. There is more of a willingness to help advance the economic and environmental conditions that these communities find themselves in after hundreds of years of deception, betrayal and neglect by the federal government. The administration hopes to address some of these issues with the appointment of the first Native American to the post of Secretary of the Interior, a department officially entrusted with ensuring Native Americans’ welfare. 

Historically, the Department of the Interior was an agency that was responsible for eradicating the homes, the culture and often the lives of Indigenous people in the United States. Deb Haaland’s appointment is seen as a step in healing many of the wounds of the past and a move forward in the right direction. She has already made it clear that she intends to prioritize the Interior Department’s responsibility towards Native peoples, who fall under the jurisdiction of the Bureaus of Indian Affairs and Indian Education. One of her first actions was streamlining the process for Native American tribes to reacquire public lands from the federal government. She has also pledged to bring more federal resources to bear on missing and murdered Indigenous people, especially women.

To get more information on this and other Native American issues please visit our website at 3Generations.org.

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3 Generations Indigenous People's Day Livestream
3 Generations Indigenous People's Day Livestream

At 3 Generations we continue to be hard at work telling the stories of the injustices suffered by Native Americans, their lands and communities. It is important to share their stories as both an act of healing for them and a call to action for others.

We have exciting updates to share with you on our current work in the field. We recently created a petition for Native land recognition and cultural respect in professional sports. We hope the petition will educate people, fight racism and help undo the damage created by the use of Native American names and mascots in professional sports. So far, almost 3,000 people have signed it. For more information and to sign our petition click here

We also recently hosted two livestreams about Native American justice, treaty rights, land recognition and Indigenous People’s Day. Our first Livestream was a discussion with Dawn Bjoraker about justice and treaty rights on Native American reservations. The second was a discussion with Dawn Bjoraker and Jayli Fimbres about land recognition, the insensitive use of Native American mascots in sports, and Indigenous People’s Day. You can view both Livestreams on our Facebook page or YouTube channel.

For more information about Native American justice and land rights or any other social justice issue that we document please go to our website.

We can’t continue our work without your support, so please donate today!

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The invaluable contribution of Native Americans to US sports (especially football) has been lost amid the rampant use of racist names and mascots. It’s time Native Americans and their land and receive recognition and respect from teams that have stereotyped and capitalized on their culture for decades. We’re asking the professional sports franchises to lead the way by officially recognizing the original inhabitants of the land on which their stadiums are built and their games are played. 

  1. A moment of acknowledgement during routine opening ceremonies, widely practiced in Canada, is a powerful way to honor those whose land and homes have been lost during centuries of colonization.
  2. A plaque of respect and recognition is added to each stadium, signifying respect and recognition to the treaties promised to them by our government.

Sign our petition to help fight racism and undo the damage of Native American names and mascots in professional sports.

This petition began with letters to the owner of The Washington Football Franchise (formerly known as The Washington R*dSk*ns) and the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. We asked that the teams do more than simply change their name or prohibit fans from wearing headdresses and Native American style face paint, that they take a step towards restoration of racial harm by honoring the land on which their team plays, through land recognition. Beyond the major franchises (Atlanta Braves, Edmonton Eskimos, Chicago Black Hawks, Cleveland Indians) there are still over 2000 High College and College teams that use Native American names and mascots. This petition is also intended for smaller teams and communities to make change by removing harmful stereotypes and derogatory names. 

THE USE OF RACIST NAMES MUST STOP

Using Native American names, mascots, and imagery in sports enforce racist stereotypes and inflict psychological harm. They perpetuate caricatures and misuse cultural symbols and practices. It is past time to end this defamation and name changes are not enough to redress decades of racism, prejudice and harm. 

WHAT IS LAND RECOGNITION? AND WHAT DOES IT ACHIEVE?

Land Recognition is a formal process that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. It helps to address centuries of invisibility and disrespect and is inherently healing. Fedex Stadium, home of the Washington Football Team is located in Prince George's County Maryland. It is built on land that once belonged to the Nacotchtank Nation, a people who are now extinct. We believe that if all sports teams, (starting with those that have appropriated the names and mascots of native peoples), honor the land their teams are playing on, all Americans will start to learn the true history of this country as well as the legacy of racism in sports. 

LEARN MORE

Whose land are you standing on? Native Lands app

To learn more about our work on Native American justice, please visit 3 Generations.

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3 Generations has always known that environmental and climate justice cannot happen without including Native voices. While communities of color, especially Native Americans, are disproportionately impacted by environmental degradation and climate change, they are not in positions of power to make decisions about their individual and community well-being. Many large nonprofits and foundations are fighting for conservation at the expense of Indigenous rights and sovereignty.

The environmental justice movement in the United States has always had a problem with diversity. Environmentally focused non-profits continue to be entrenched in whiteness, including their staff and board composition. Also, funders who support the environmental movement in the US still remain overwhelmingly white.

The composition of environmental nonprofits and the individuals within funding institutions has a direct impact on the voices that are heard, or not heard, and the approaches that are taken, or not taken, to advance environmental justice and combat climate change. For Native communities, this means that their traditional ecological knowledge is often dismissed, trivialized, and minimized in environmental discussions. 

This status quo of the environmental and climate justice movements must not continue. Without including Native voices, there can’t be vibrant environmental change in this country.

We will continue to share information about this and many other social justice issues on our social media and website. Thank you for your continued support of our work.

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3 Generations

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @3Generations
Project Leader:
Jane Wells
New York, NY United States
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